(via Deeper Story)
Earlier this week, someone told me a story. It changed me, so I’m going to tell you the story too.
“A rabbi was walking home from the synagogue after a long day of going about his work. It was later than usual, and as he walked home, the sun set. Lost deep in thought, he took the left – instead of the right when the path split. Instead of nearing home, he was walking towards a Roman outpost. “WHO GOES THERE” boomed a deep voice in the dark, shaking him from his thoughts. Shaken and confused, the rabbi tried to figure out who this was at his home. “WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE” thundered back, as a massive centurion stepped into view. The rabbi quickly realized the mistake he must have made. Instead of answering the centurion’s question, he replied, “how much are you paid to stand here every day?” “Three drachma” replied the centurion. “I see,” said the rabbi. “I will pay you twice as much to stand in front of my door and ask me the same question every single day.”
Who are you? And what are you doing here?
What happens when we go home without being asked who we are?
What happens when our daily routine gives other people and their expectations the ability to tell us who we are and what we are doing?
What happens when what we believe of ourselves is unconsciously accepted, without being intentionally determined?
Who are you?
Like a splash of fresh water over cloudy eyes, for a split second I am in discomfort – but then I am able to see Myself. I question all of it. Asking only Him.
Who are you?
Have you been your sister’s cover? Your brother’s secret keeper? Your parents’ child? The peacemaker? The black sheep? The responsible one? The slut? The liar? The baby? The abandoned? The one who always comforts? The academic? The lazy?
Who have you been?
The fighter? The middle man? The coward? The addict? The best one? The extrovert? Your father’s daughter? Your mother’s confidant? The weight bearer? The cheated on? The cheater? The talented one? The stupid one?
Who are you?
Do you have permission to be you? God gives that. Did you know that?
God created you as YOU. Our family tells us our DNA is exactly like theirs, but the truth is that your intricately woven DNA is yours and yours alone.
God’s relationship with you is for YOU. Not for your pastor, your best friend, your significant other, your parents, your siblings.
God redeemed you from YOU. Not to let you remain as who you are, but to transform you into who you created to be.
God has called you by NAME. Your name, the name he gave to you and no other. A name that no one but God knows. (Isaiah 43:1)
It is hard to let go of what others have asked us to be. It is hard to step back from what others have told us to be. It is hard to choose a different name for ourselves than the one that has been given.
But you are not of this world. You have been born again. Your first family is the family of God, not of men. Your first allegiance is to your Father, not to the world. Man sees only the outward appearance, but the Lord sees the heart. (I Samuel 16:7)
Jesus has made you a new creation. He has taken out your heart of stone and given you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)
So write it on your walls, your hand, your mirrors, your doors:
“Who are you? And what are you doing here?”
As a sister in Christ, I tell you it is like peeling off my own skin and grafting on the new – to erase what people have desired me to be. But I tell you that it is worth it, and it is right, and it is a truth that will set you free.
Who have you been? And who are you, as created by God?
Please, share it with me.